Femme Fatale: South Bend woman opens new gun shop - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Femme Fatale: South Bend woman opens new gun shop

New lines of purses, running shorts and even bras are showing up on the market, but they're not catering to your typical fashionista.  Instead we're talking about accessories for female gun owners.  Statistics show more and more women are carrying guns.  Now a new South Bend business is looking to tap into the demand.

"This is a pink revolver," says Rebecca Bartol from behind the counter of her new store on South Main.  The name of the shop is Femme Fatale Guns & Sporting, Incorporated.  

We asked her how she came up with the name.  She says it came to her after a brainstorming session.  "I was trying to think of something good, and my dad said we should call it 'Rebecca's Gun Shop'," she says.  "I was like, 'No!'"

Bartol makes it clear her shop is open to anyone who is legally able to buy a gun.  That includes men or women, but she'll soon be carrying accessories too, like holsters made specifically for women.  We're not just talking the kind you wear as a belt.

 "You have it very close to you if you're jogging," she says as she explains a pair of shorts that hold a gun.  "You could wear them as jogging shorts or you could wear them under your shorts or running pants."

Manager Tim Stickel says he likes that a woman is running the show.  "I think it's great," he says.  "A lot more women are getting interested in self-defense and firearms as a hobby."

The statistics seem to support that, not only across the country but specifically here in Indiana.  More women are applying for firearm licenses.  Numbers from the Indiana State Police show 35% more woman had a firearms license in Indiana in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013.  In St. Joe County there was a 27% increase.  

Bartol points out not all of those women are looking for pink guns.  "Thy're cute and pretty," she says.  "But black pretty much goes with anything, so I like my black and chrome."

She says the decision to go into the gun business was easy, although she admits she did get some mixed reaction from friends at first. "Some of my friends, knowing I grew up on a farm doing target shooting, said that makes sense," she says.  "Other people were like, 'Wow, Really?  Why would you want to do that?  A Gun store?'"

Bartol says she'll also be working with instructors to get more women into classes to learn how to properly handle guns.
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